The moratorium on evictions, which has been in place following the outbreak of the COVID-19 almost a year and a half ago, will come to an end on Friday. This federal policy change comes following a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court and will soon come into effect in St. Louis.
On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 6-3 to end the national eviction moratorium. The majority opinion held that the CDC does not have the power to impose a national moratorium on evictions under extant legislation. The CDC had claimed the authority to do so under Section 361(a) of the Public Health Services Act. And while this statute does grant the Surgeon General and CDC certain emergency powers, the majority opinion stated, “It strains credulity to believe that this statute grants the CDC the sweeping authority that it asserts.” The court thus upheld a stay on the CDC’s emergency powers that had been issued by an appellate court.
On Friday, in light of the Supreme Court decision, St. Louis Circuit Court Presiding Judge Michael Steltzer wrote that he was revoking his previous extension of the moratorium. He had extended it up to October 3rd. It is now set to end on Friday, September 3.
U.S. Representative Cori Bush (MO-01) has been outspoken in pushing for the extension of the moratorium in light of the continued economic hardship facing many families and tenants. In light of the Supreme Court curbing the topdown executive action of the CDC, she has urged Congress to take action to extend the moratorium in law. St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis have only distributed a limited portion of the federal aid they’ve received as of yet for housing relief.